#GettingSeeds #NewSeedLibrary #FoodAccess #NativeSeeds #NewSeedLibrary #GettingSeeds #FoodAccess #NativeSeeds

Hannah Van Eendenburg

2 Different Seed Library Models?
Hello! My name is Hannah, and I am working with the community of Salida, CO for our new seed library, the S.A.V.E. (Seeds Adapted to Variable Ecosystems) Seed Library. I am curious about the difference between two different models of a seed library...

1. The first model I see is a seed library that takes in seed from seed companies; whether donated from community members or brought in through requests. The library stays packed full of seed for people to take and grow for food, with the potential to provide back. (Maybe more of a focus of #foodaccess)
2. The second model I see is a seed library that only obtains 'first generation seeds'; that is, what I describe as seed that has been saved in the area for at least one growing cycle. Thus, the seed library contains truly adapted seed, something that is especially necessary in the harsh microclimates in Colorado! With this model, giving out the free seed from regional seed companies is necessary to provide the material to save that first seed. (maybe more of a focus on #seedsaving #regionallyadapted and #nativeseeds)

Any thoughts on this? I am interested in providing free seed to the community, but also having a seed library that provides only truly adapted seed to the area....

h.vaneendenburg [at]



We just completed our first year of our seed library. Our primary focus has been on providing seeds to grow food. We have taken in both kinds of seeds but before we put them out to be taken we germination test them and only let seeds with 80% or higher go into the library. We have never purchased seeds for our library but have had people donate packets as well as saved seeds. We are expanding this year to grains and native plants. We started with veggies, herbs, beans, flowers and we got our first report that we gave away over 1k seed packets. So exciting to see an idea come to fruition.
My advice to you would be start with including any seed except (no-gmo or hybrid) to get it going and to get volunteers excited to help and then lean your focus on micro-climate specific once you are up and running.


Hi Hannah,
I saw a similar range of goals among seed libraries (SL) in California when I did a survey in 2016. Different SLs focus on different functions in the seed system, as you pointed out, some for example are mainly focused on seed distribution, others on local adaptation. I think your observation is an important one, and one that helps us think about SLs and how to more effectively reach our goals. Feel free to contact me directly if you want a copy of the publication about that survey.